So, my relationship with my own name has always been a little complicated. It’s Dena, spelled D-E-N-A. It's not Dina or Deena or Deana Or Deanna. There are not a ton of people with my name, therefore, my parents did not have to spend my childhood wondering what to do if someone steals your baby name. On some days, I totally appreciate the fact that it’s less common, and how I’m usually the only one in the room (OK, in the building) who has it. Other times, I think my life would be easier if it was spelled in the way most people assume it’s spelled, or if I would have been able to find personalized keychains as a kid, or if I didn’t have to repeat myself every time I’m introduced to someone for the first time (“Nice to meet you, Tina.”). I realize that these are very minor irritations; They barely even register on the list of problems one might have. Like, if there was such a list, these would be right after the struggle of trying to lift the first piece of pie out of the dish without turning it into a sloppy mess, but just before having to sit closer to the screen than you would have wanted at a movie theater because you didn’t get there early enough. Like, these are non-problems. I get that.
But, as you can probably imagine, these complicated feelings about my own name certainly came into play when trying to name my son. Ultimately, I think my partner and I did a pretty good job with naming: We went with something that’s in the top 100 boys names, but we opted to spell it in a less-popular way (although we still picked a normal way to spell it, FOR THE RECORD). Our son is almost two, and for the most part, I’ve felt great about our choice.
That is, until someone we know used the same name. Guys, I didn't even know that this was something to be upset about until it was happening and I was upset. It turns out, someone stealing your baby name (stealing) is a pretty real emotional situation. Allow me to walk you through the onslaught of feelings that have since ensued:
Seriously, friends? I thought we had a deal. And by "deal," I mean an "unspoken arrangement that I never communicated at all." Still, it hurts that you've broken it by naming your kid with my kid's name.
Is this a joke? Are you guys playing a prank on me? I mean, it is possible that, while you are preparing for such a monumental life event, you’re like, “Hey, maybe we should prank our old casual acquaintance that we haven’t seen in person for years?” Right? Right, guys? I bet Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out and shout at me while wearing a trucker hat in a minute and assure me that you did not just take my kid's name.
OK, if Ashton Kutcher has no part in this, I’m not sure I understand why it’s happening. Could there be other, unseen forces at play? I really don't understand why this is happening.
Whatever, I’m not going to let this ruin my day. I’m going to love on my kiddo and wallow in Pixar movie tears.
SERIOUSLY THOUGH THIS IS NOT COOL AND I DON'T LIKE IT.
Questioning All That You Know Is True In This Fragile World
I mean, should I remind them that we used that name? Maybe they forgot? Ugh, I know they didn't forget. They just have no decency. I'm considering an anonymous, strongly worded letter. That wouldn’t be obvious, would it?
I mean, I guess I can’t exactly blame them. It is the most glorious name that’s ever existed. I can see why they chose it.
Very Slow Acceptance
We'll be fine. Everything will be fine. This will not affect my son's ability to live a propserous and happy life (unless, of course, someone else with the name commits a heinous crime and forever associates him with it. Oh, God.)
You Tell Oneself That Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
What would Tami Taylor do? She’d be classy as hell and toss her glorious hair over her perfect shoulder and then not give it another thought.
Maybe they'll be BFFs? Two little boys with the same name sharing a tree house sounds adorable. I suppose that would be OK.
*Shrug* At Least This Helps The Chance That He’ll Be Able To Buy Souvineers When We Go On Vacation Someday
I mean, the more kiddos with the name, the more likely it is that cool things will be mass produced for them, so that’s a perk I suppose.
It’s Fine. I'm Over It. There Are Other Important Things In Life.
Like like the forthcoming Blunt/Krasinski baby, or the Teigen/Legend baby. Has anyone heard what names they've chosen, by the way? Asking for a friend.